Goans not putting in hard work to prepare for exam: GPSC chief

Panaji: Stating that sincerity, dedication and hard work would help the candidates crack the Computer Based Recruitment Test (CBRT) conducted by the Goa Public Service Commission (GPSC), GPSC chairman Jose Manuel Noronha on Friday maintained that all four candidates who cleared the CBRT as well as the interview for the posts of assistant agricultural officer, recently are from rural areas – Bicholim, Nuvem, Sanguem and Canacona – and have proved the perception wrong that it is very difficult to clear the CBRT.

Reacting to the poor performance of Goan youth at the CBRT, the GPSC chairman said that there were 24 vacancies of the assistant agricultural officer, for which 117 people applied of which 99 answered the CBRT exam, and of them only 4 cleared, including one from the general category, two from other backward classes, and one from the Scheduled Caste.

“And based on the interview, which we had conducted yesterday, we selected all of them,” Noronha informed, pointing out that today there are 20 vacancies of the assistant agricultural officers, which are still vacant. “The entire examination process of the GPSC is transparent and the CBRT results are immediately posted on the website of the Commission,” he added, noting that every interview panel of the GPSC has a retired high court judge as its member.

Speaking further, the GPSC chairman observed that it is now necessary for the candidates to prepare themselves for the CBRT system. “Fortunately, there are improvements from the time we first began the CBRT, and now the candidates should be doing better with time,” he observed.

The CBRT comprises of a 75-mark paper, having 75 questions; one mark per question. In this paper, 30 marks are reserved for core subject that is the job for which the test is conducted, 10 marks are for questions testing the English language skill of the candidate, 10 marks for general knowledge and current affairs-related questions, and finally 25 marks for questions pertaining to reasoning power.  

The GPSC chairman informed that GPSC will conduct next CBRT on June 16, for 4 posts of block development officers (BDOs), at 5 centres around the state, for which 1,098 candidates have applied. “As per our system, we have collected lot of questions from the experts and fed them into the software, and just 10 minutes before the exam this software is set to generate the question paper,” he revealed, adding that from one centre – which is a nodal centre – this paper would be then sent in an encrypted form to the other four centres.

“As per the CBRT system, when the 75th minute of the exam is over, the computers will stop receiving answers from the candidates and immediately generate marks earned by the respective candidates,” Noronha stated, adding that not all candidates who clear the paper are shortlisted for the interview. “We have a 60 per cent cut off line for general category candidates, 55 per cent for OBC candidates and 50 per cent for SC/ST candidates,” he informed, maintaining that all the candidates, who obtain these minimum required marks are added to the list of eligible candidates, and from this particular list, by following the 1:5 ratio, those many top candidates are called for the interview. 

The GPSC chairman said that all the question papers that were used by the GPSC for its past CBRTs have been uploaded on the GPSC website. “We also have our syllabus available for the candidates on this website,” he informed.

“In other states, the candidates generally spend a year to prepare themselves for the state civil service exams,” Noronha stated, maintaining that the GPSC conducts its exams with the objective to select quality Class A and Class B officials for the state administration. “If we have selected a person for the state administration, that means he has a certain standard and quality,” he observed, stressing that the GPSC does not compromise on its selection. 

Noronha further informed that earlier the CBRT had negative marking system, so that it would dissuade the candidates from picking up answers arbitrarily from the multiple choice answers. “However, it has now been discontinued as even without the negative marking system, the candidates are finding it difficult to clear the exam,” he noted.

On a parting note, the GPSC chairman said that candidates, who sincerely prepare for the GPSC exam, are in a better position to answer other competitive exams such as the bank probationary exam, the Union Public Service Commission exam and so on.